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Urban risk in Freetown

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In this video, Mr John Rogers, from the Office of National Security, ONS, and Mr Braima Koroma, of SLURC, talk about how risk is experienced in Freetown.

Various risks are present throughout the city of Freetown, with residents of informal settlements particularly exposed to the threats of landslides, fires, and issues associated with poor water and sanitation and improper waste disposal.

In some areas of Freetown, people have responded to these challenges by creating disaster management committees, which educate residents through a process of ‘sensitization’ and planning mitigation measures.

In others they collectively clear canals and drainage systems to allow water to flow quickly during strong rains.

Some residents have also built alert mechanisms. When rainfall is recorded beyond a certain threshold in hillside settlements, they call the settlement downstream to let them know they can expect flooding.

Beyond these collective responses, individual households have their own interventions. For example, in some flood-prone communities, such as Colbot and CKG, residents have raised their houses on concrete platforms to prevent flood waters entering.

Remember that you can learn more about Colbot and CKG on the Freetown interactive map

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Development and Planning in African Cities: Exploring theories, policies and practices from Sierra Leone

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